recording a choir

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
aaronaustin
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact:

recording a choir

Post by aaronaustin » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:58 am

I'm getting a "choir" together to record the chorus of a song tomorrow. I thought I knew how I was going to go about it, but now I'm second guessing myself. I'm really not sure how many people will be there. We'll be in a big sanctuary with hopefully 30 to 50 people. Who knows.

I only have two sets of paired mics--ADK TCs and MXL 603s. I thought about using either of these as spaced pairs or xy. Then, I thought about using my oktavamod 219 and a cascade Fathead in m-s. However, I'm also planning on tracking all of the takes in two passes--one with the polarity flipped to cancel out the track. This might make m-s more confusing--or will it even work? Any thoughts?

User avatar
agauchede
gettin' sounds
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:50 am
Location: Portland, Maine
Contact:

Post by agauchede » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:24 pm

I've done quite a bit of choir recording, and the most natural result is usually from putting stereo mics where a conductor would be. If the ceiling is high, put them up as high as your stand will go. If it's a particularly nice sounding room, set up mics toward the back to catch the ambience.

Have fun!
Chris

aaronaustin
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact:

Post by aaronaustin » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:27 pm

thanks. would you put the mics in xy?

User avatar
seeabove
pushin' record
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 9:36 am
Location: Bay Area
Contact:

Post by seeabove » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:47 pm

I get satisfaction of three kinds. One is creating something, one is being paid for it and one is the feeling that I haven?t just been sitting on my ass all afternoon.

locosoundman
pushin' record
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:44 pm
Location: in my own little world

Post by locosoundman » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:20 pm

ORTF is a good way to go - simple is usually better.

The key is to listen and adjust the mic's till you get what you want - too much of the front row or not a good blend? Raise the mic's. Not enough room or not enough blend? Move the mic's back. Too much room or not enough presence? Move them forward.

With a decent choir in a decent room you are usually better off spending your time finding the best place for a single pair of mic's rather than setting up a whole bunch of arrays and running cables.
"We have met the enemy and he is us"
- Pogo Possum

User avatar
agauchede
gettin' sounds
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:50 am
Location: Portland, Maine
Contact:

Post by agauchede » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:34 am

Yup - ORTF - it kind of mimics the way we would hear. But you'll want some distance from the choir. Ideally as far from center as the choir is wide. Sometimes they set up in a semicircle, so you just have to use your intuition, or, if possible, get set up before they rehearse, (most choirs will warm up before a concert). If there is a conductor, they sometimes don't want a mic stand behind them, because it blocks the audience view (as if the audience is watching the conductor, duh), so you might have to get creative.

-Chris

User avatar
agauchede
gettin' sounds
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:50 am
Location: Portland, Maine
Contact:

Post by agauchede » Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:35 am

Oh yeah - keep your levels conservative - those sopranos will sneak up on you and ruin everything!

aaronaustin
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact:

Post by aaronaustin » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:23 am

thanks so much for the help everybody. Great advice. things went smoothly, though I had a lot fewer people than I had hoped. Still, the ORTF worked great. Got a real nice ambient sound.

qball
pushin' record
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:05 am
Location: Central NY

Post by qball » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:04 pm

The rule of thumb I use for ORTF choir recording is to aim the mics at the outer edges of the choir when the mics are at 90 deg. That pretty much determines how far from the choir the mics need to be. Mics up high enough to point down at an angle and be able to "see" each row of the choir members. Usually about 8' or so high.

Nothing in stone on this...just a good starting point.
I think women should leave the toilet seat UP!!!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests